Monday, October 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

President Putin arrives today
From Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

MOSCOW, Oct 1 — An urgent need for shaping the new global order on the principles of “multipolarity” will be under focus when Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee meet on Tuesday for detailed discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues.

Mr Putin arrives in New Delhi on October 2 in the evening but the talks between Mr Putin and Mr Vajpayee are going to be held the next days when the two leaders would put their initials on the Declaration of a Strategic Partnership between India and Russia.

Over 12 bilateral agreements and memorandum of understanding would be concluded during the Russian President’s stay in the Capital.

The declaration, which would also entail the Indo-Russian common position of a global order, would stress upon the need for a multipolar global order.

Russia, which already has a strategic partnership with China, is of the view that a global order dominated by one single power or one “hyper state” is not sustainable, aver Russian experts and officials.

While Moscow is studiously avoiding any formal or informal axis among China, Russia and India, it is making every effort to enlarge areas of commonality among the three countries.

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Alexander Losyukov, stressed that though there were common interests and commonality in approaches of Russia, India and China for ensuring strategic stability in Asia and resolving the continental problem but it was too early to talk of a tripartite cooperation in a structured form.

Talking to a group of visiting India mediapersons, the Editor of one of the most “credible” and widely read newspaper “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”, Mr V.T. Tretyakov, said a unipolar world would be opposed by China, India and Russia. Russia, which is engaged in the uphill task of re-emerging from the economic and political mess left by the former Russian President, Mr Boris Yeltsin, would also oppose unipolar world “if it survives”, he said.

Mr Tretyakov, who is respected in the Russian political circles and is personally known to all important political leaders, including Mr Putin, said the Russian President was engaged in restoring Russia as a “great country and a great nation”. That is his major objective, the Editor pointed out.

While redefining Russian foreign policy objectives and priorities on pragmatic and realistic norms away from the policy of the Soviet era, Mr Putin is not only striking new alliances but is also trying to impart new meaning to old friendly ties. Unlike the Soviet policy, the new Russian foreign policy is aimed at furtherance of its vital national interest.

One of the major objectives of Russian strategic thinkers like the Director of the Institute of Strategic Research, Mr E. Kozhokin, is to make Russia an important, independent actor in international relations.

Stating that the world by its very nature was “multipolar”, Mr Kozhokin said the present Russian approach was to find a realist modus vivendi to have ties with the US, NATO, China and India.

In this perspective, Russia has made its move towards Pakistan.

Moscow knows well that Islamabad is an important factor in Afghanistan and Central Asian republics.

The sending of Mr Putin’s advisor on Chechnya, Mr Sergei Yastrzhembsky, to Islamabad was part of the same approach.

General V.L. Manilov, the first Deputy Chief of the General Headquarter, said Mr Yastrazhembsky’s mission to Islamabad was to open channels so that terrorism emanating from the Afghan soil which posed a direct threat to Russia and CIS borders could be controlled. Pakistan had recognised the Taliban regime, General Manilova said.

Mr A. Volin, former chief of RIA Novsti and in charge of the information policy of the Russian Government, said it was impossible to “close our eyes towards Pakistan”.

“But our relations with Pakistan would not be at the cost of India”, he asserted, adding that the “Taliban is also a headache for Pakistan”.

About the timing of Mr Yastrazhembsky’s visit to Islamabad, Mr Volin said it was better that he went there before Mr Putin’s visit to India. Now the Russian President could personally explain the circumstances in which he had sent his envoy to Islamabad.

The Indian Embassy had been informed about his visit in advance, Mr Volin pointed out.

PTI adds: Russian President Vladimir Putin has strongly backed India’s candidature for permanent membership to the UN Security Council, saying it is a “fitting contender” for the seat and called for joint efforts to combat international terrorism.

“I want to stress that, in our opinion, India plays one of the most important roles in world politics and that Russia and India naturally complement each other in many spheres,” he said ahead of a four-day visit.

Stating that over the past year, India had proven itself a very reliable partner, which was highly appreciated by Moscow, the Russian President said “as one of the biggest countries in Asia and world, New Delhi is vital in establishing regional and international stability”.

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